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My Perverse Nature…

…tends to display itself in two ways, and I think it’s best you know about them sooner rather than later.

First, if people talk about something they think is edgy and important, and go out of their way to say that they’re totally ok with it and that everyone else should be totally ok with it and can you believe some people think this is edgy I can’t believe some people might be bothered by this and OMG I’m so fine with it… My perverse nature kicks in and I start imagining that they’re only pretending they’re ok with it, even if I know they aren’t pretending. I can’t help it. Oft quoted (and oft misquoted) lines from Shakespeare start creeping into my head, and it’s usually all I can do to keep myself from saying outloud, “The lady (or gentleman) doth protest too much, methinks.” Which usually gets completely misunderstood and then people start trying harder to convince me that I should be ok with it, or go silent as they wonder which side of the debate I’m on, anyway, and isn’t that backwards from the way Shakespeare wrote it? Is she just mixed up or did she mis-learn it?… And I silently beat my perverse nature’s head against a perverse wall and vow to keep my mouth shut the next time, which never seems to work.

The other most common way for that ugly and much-beaten-against-walls head to rear itself is when I’m sitting in a room with another person who’s reading, and that person giggles and says, “Oh, that’s funny” or gasps and says “wow, that’s interesting” and then continues reading without going on to explain what’s funny or interesting. All of a sudden, the last thing I want to do is ask what’s funny or interesting even though that’s exactly what the other person wants and expects me to do. Now, I really do want to know what’s funny or interesting. That’s not the issue. The issue is that they shouldn’t force me to ask. So depending on whether or not I think the other person should know about my perverse nature, I might force myself to ask through gritted teeth, “what’s so funny?” But I won’t want to.

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  1. Mark Mark

    The first is a healthy scepticism because when someone is working that hard to convince others that they are OK with something they almost always are really trying to convince themselves.

    As for the second … well, I can’t answer for anyone else, but if it was me then I probably would *not* want you to ask me what was funny or interesting. It certainly would not be my intention for you to do so.

    For me, such behavior is a more forceful appreciation of the humor or interesting bit than just silently laughing or going “Hmmm.” [But then I argue with TV commercials, which is one reason I don’t watch TV.]

    I often make the oddest connections between things so trying to explain why I find something funny or interesting is a frustrating experience for me and the other person.

    But, perhaps I protest too much … ;)

  2. Iris Iris

    So here’s rule of thumb for you. If we should ever meet face-to-face, and if you should ever happen to be reading something, don’t say ANYTHING (not even “Hmmm,” and especially not laughing) without telling me why. I will just get mad and assume you’re asking me to ask you what’s up. :)

  3. Mark Mark

    Oh, my friend, you really shouldn’t tell me how to torture you. Friends are supposed to figure that out for themselves. ;)

  4. Iris Iris

    You’re so cruel…

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